Targeting Freedom; A Green Power Grab

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 26, 2006 | Go to article overview

Targeting Freedom; A Green Power Grab


Byline: Angela Logomasini, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Is environmentalism dead? An essay highlighted in the New York Times in 2004 sparked a debate that continues today. The essayists, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, lamented that "people in the environmental movement today find themselves politically less powerful than we were one and a half decades ago."

But a new book published by scholar Bonner Cohen, "The Green Wave," sets these ideas on their head. Mr. Cohen shows how environmental activists have had and continue to have a substantial influence on policy around the world. Their influence is clearly visible through their advocacy of the so-called precautionary principle, which holds that new technologies should be proven safe before they are used. The problem is that you can't prove a negative, so applying this "principle" essentially grants regulators arbitrary power.

Mr. Cohen notes that early versions of the precautionary principle appeared in several international documents, including the United Nations World Charter for Nature (1982), the Nordic Council's International Conference on the Pollution of the Seas (1989) and the Rio Declaration of Environment and Development (1992).

Environmental groups formalized the concept in 1998 when an assembly of 31 activists in Wisconsin released the "Wingspread Declaration." It notes: "when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically." A similar version of this principle was essentially endorsed by 180 nations as a provision of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000).

Mr. Cohen highlights how environmentalists have been able to use this "principle" to justify a host of foolish and often dangerous policy ideas. Consider biotechnology. Mr. Cohen notes that genetically modified (G.M.) crops have undergone extensive study by the world's top scientific bodies. All report that G.M. foods pose no more risk than conventionally grown crops.

Yet the greens are undermining biotechnology's use by arguing that no one can prove it safe, which threatens the critical role that G.M. food could play in expanding food production to meet the needs of the world's growing population.

In 2002, for example, Zambia and Zimbabwe's governments locked up warehouses full of U.S. G.M. corn that was donated by the American government to help feed people during a famine in these two nations.

"We would rather starve than get something toxic," exclaimed Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa. (Apparently, anything not proven safe must be "toxic. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Targeting Freedom; A Green Power Grab
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.